Archiving / Backup

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Archiving/backup and restoring are very important to the long-term viability of any IT professional. If its done wrong or incorrectly; data may be permanently lost, servers may be down for extended periods, and large sums of money may be lost or spent.

I use a number of different process depending upon the operating system, on-site or off-site storage, and archive standby status. Here is an attempt to document and share all current and deprecated methods used.

Standby Statuses

I use different standby statuses to denote how quickly I can go from archive to live. The statuses and their meanings are:

  1. Live backup
    • A online server or cloud server that may be accessed or turned on at the flip of a switch and simple redirection of server traffic.
  2. On-server archive
    • An archive that is stored on the server it is derived from. This makes it readily available for data restoration as long as the server is functioning and accessible.
  3. Cloud archive
    • An archive stored in the cloud.
  4. Backup server archive
    • An archive stored on a server whose primary purpose is for managing of archives
  5. Storage archive
    • An archive moved from the backup server or cloud to a storage server
  6. Offline archive
    • An archive moved from the storage server to an offline media
  7. Offline and off-site archive
    • Offline media moved to secure off-site storage

Archive Levels


Often the size of a simple archive becomes quite large (>4Gb). In these cases, I choose to split the archive into smaller pieces. This is typically performed using the split command.

split -b 4g sourcefile outfile_prefix_